The Shevchenko Foundation just announced the shortlisted titles for the 2020 Kobzar Book Award, which includes John Paskievich’s The North End Revisited.
Presented biennially, the $25,000 KOBZAR Book Award recognizes outstanding contributions to Canadian literary arts by authors who write on a topic with a tangible connection to the Ukrainian Canadian experience. Genres include literary non-fiction, fiction, poetry, young readers’ literature, play, screenplay and musical. Distinctive to this Award is monetary payment to the winner’s publisher, in addition to the winning author.
The jury members this year consisted of: Matt Bowes (General Manager of NeWest Press), Dr. Lindy Ledohowski (teacher, professor and writer – winner of the 2018 Kobzar Book Award), and Nino Ricci (best-selling and award-winning author).
The shortlisted titles for the 2020 Kobzar Book Award are:
- The Bone Mother, by David Demchuk (ChiZine Publications, 2017)
- The North End Revisited, by John Paskievich (University of Manitoba Press, 2017)
- Our Familiar Hunger, by Laisha Rosnau (Nightwood Editions, 2019)
- The Stories Were Not Told: Canada’s First World War Internment Camps, by Sandra Semchuk (University of Alberta Press, 2019)
- We All Need to Eat, by Alex Leslie (Book*hug Press, 2018)
The award will be presented at a celebration event on Thursday, March 12, 2020 in Toronto.
About the North End Revisited
Cities and the people who live in them are enduring subjects of photography. Winnipeg’s North End is one of North America’s iconic neighbourhoods, a place where the city’s unique character and politics have been forged. First built when Winnipeg was the “Chicago of the North,” the North End is the great Canadian melting pot, where Indigenous peoples and Old World immigrants cross the boundaries of ethnicity, class, and culture. Like New York’s Lower East Side, the North End is also the place that helped to forge Winnipeg’s political identity of resistance and revolt.
Award-winning filmmaker John Paskievich grew up in Winnipeg’s North End, and for the last forty years he has photographed its people and captured its spirit. Paskievich’s films, many made for the National Film Board of Canada, follow the lives of different outsiders, from Slovakian Roma to stutterers.
The North End Revisited brings together many of the photographs from Paskievich’s now-classic book The North End (2007) with eighty additional images to present a deep and poignant picture of a special community. Texts by art critics Stephen Osborne and Alison Gillmor and film scholar George Melnyk explore the different aspects of Paskievich’s work and add context from Winnipeg’s history and culture.
About the Kobzar Award
The Shevchenko Foundation launched the KOBZAR ™ Literary Award at Hart House in Toronto on May 14, 2003. The inaugural Award Ceremony was held in March 2006 in Toronto. At the Award Ceremony of March, 2018, the Shevchenko Foundation announced a change in the name of the award to KOBZAR ™ Book Award to better reflect the many different genres of works submitted for award consideration.
The Award fills a very important “niche” in the Canadian and North American book and literary awards scene. It impacts the lives of authors by giving them recognition, and providing resources to enable them to continue their work. It also creates a place for the Ukrainian Canadian experience and its stories.
In a world where we are bombarded with information, sound bites, and uncurated content, the KOBZAR™ Book Award carves out an avenue to have a record of the stories and history of Ukrainian culture in Canada.
The KOBZAR™ Book Award is named for the travelling 19th century minstrel wanderers, “Kobzars”, who narrated and sang a repertoire of historic epics, religious and folk songs, and stories of the day to the instrumental accompaniment of a bandura or kobza.